AM­BER AR­CADES

An­nelotte de graaf: “It’s about the fall­ing apart of a story”

UNCUT - - New Al­bums - Johnny Sharp

“The lush string and horn ar­range­ments for me mu­si­cally rep­re­sent the lyri­cal theme of ro­man­ti­cis­ing the past, both on a per­sonal and on a po­lit­i­cal level,” ex­plains Dutch song­writer An­nelotte de Graaf, aka Am­ber Ar­cades, when asked about the el­e­gant in­stru­men­tal ac­com­pa­ni­ments off­set­ting the un­der­stated indie-pop vi­gnettes of her sec­ond al­bum, Euro­pean Heart­break. “The way the drums and gui­tars and bass sound on the other hand, very lo-fi and sparse, sym­bol­ise the other side: be­ing scep­ti­cal of this rosy ro­man­tic glow and try­ing to see things ‘as they are’.”

All of which tal­lies with the multi-faceted ‘heart­break’ of the ti­tle, wherein the qual­i­fied lawyer (who at one time worked for the in­ter­na­tional war crimes tri­bunal) ex­plores her own per­sonal tur­moil along­side that of a con­ti­nent she sees tear­ing it­self apart around her. “Some events from my per­sonal life were the ini­tial drive to start writ­ing and think­ing about the themes on this record, but I’m ap­proach­ing the con­cept of ‘heart­break’ in a fairly uni­ver­sal way. It sym­bol­ises the fall­ing apart of a story of any kind. A ro­man­tic story, or about the mean­ing we as­cribe to events, or about a na­tional iden­tity or a shared Euro­pean dream.”

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